Ethnic Tradition, New Age Travellers, Music and the Arts
But despite its increasing popularity, Pai feels much more like a village than a provincial town, having remained small with a notable lack of high-rises and sprawling developments that are typical of Thailand these days. Crumbling Chinese-style shop houses and discrete concrete dwellings still dominate around the main road, but thatched bamboo cottages and traditional Thai teak homes can still be found on the outskirts of town and dotted around the surrounding fields.
In the daytime there is hardly any activity around Pai’s centre, but the town comes alive every evening from 6pm as the night market gets into full swing. Arts, local handicrafts, food stalls and even flame swallowing street entertainers are the main draws for anyone new to the market, which is spread over several streets which are closed to vehicles.
Pai River is the Lifeblood of the Local Villages.
Pai Hot Springs and Pai Canyon.
The densely wooded park is small and can therefore be explored on foot in minutes, but there are numerous shallow pools dotted around between the tall pines and rocky outcrops. Each pool is a different temperature, so as you soak in the minerals and peer through the steam, you’ll feel the deliciously warm water invigorate your whole body. After spending an afternoon at Pai Springs, the little known Pai Canyon is only minutes away and is worth visiting for at least a few hours. It’s a beautiful secluded gorge with steep sides and narrow trails that lead to exceptional views of the surrounding hills, forests and rice fields.
Spend a few hours at the canyon during the late afternoon when its cool and breezy, and you’ll discover the lack of visitors lets you enjoy the sounds of crickets, birds and rustling leaves in complete tranquility. Don’t leave before catching a glimpse of the setting sun; undoubtedly the perfect finale to Pai Canyon.